Niki Caro - WRITER/DIRECTOR: Whale Rider, Mcfarland USA, The Zookeeper's wife

"I first worked with Joan Scheckel when she acted as script consultant on WHALE RIDER.  We did not meet face to face for many months as I was in New Zealand, but during that time the script grew deeper and stronger under her influence. She brings insight and clarity to every project she works on.  She has a deep understanding of the architecture of a story and is as rigorous with structure as she is with character.  She is both challenging and caring and is an invaluable partner on any project. Working with her is thrilling and I cannot recommend it highly enough."


The Plot Lab is a full on, craft intensive workshop designed to take your screenplay to the next level. It reveals the core storytelling tool essential to The Technique™: Plot Points. Slow down and go deep with Plot itself, learn exactly what Plot is, and how to structure your story in a clear, compelling way that lands not just in the mind, but in the heart. Come learn how to clarify your story structure and put your plot on the page (write it), in the performance (block it) and on the screen (shoot it)!

  • Learn “Plot or Not”: the core storytelling tool of The Technique.
  • Learn how overall actions and plot points connect within the scene to bring your film unforgettably to life.
  • Learn how to tell your story clearly, specifically and with meaning to connect with global audiences.
  • Deepen your awareness of how meaning, action and plot connect.

These fundamental skills are central to Joan's work on hits like Transparent, Little Miss Sunshine, Beginners and Whale Rider and many more. Now you can experience The Technique™ and profoundly connect to the feeling, emotional depth, and rhythm of your story.


Structure Is Action
Plot is a roller coaster ride through a Truth. Learn how to:

Plot or Not
Embody Plot Points. Learn how to:

Land Your Plot Points
Take the ride.  Once you’ve got the basics of plot points, action, relationship and meaning, put it all together. Learn how to:


The Plot Lab is designed for Film, Episodic, Commercial and all content creators. It may be attended individually by the Writer, Director or Producer...or by the entire Team.

  • Directors
  • Writers
  • Actors
  • Producers
  • Executives
  • Financiers
  • Production
  • Designers
  • Cinematographers
  • Editors

Please see See FilmsCommunity and Quotes for Artists Joan has worked with and their thoughts.




Join Joan in-person for a hands-on experience in Los Angeles (Limited class size), or join the Live Lab via Zoom and participate remotely from all over the world. Online participants have the opportunity to see Joan demonstrate the embodied work with in-person students.



In-Person class size is limited. Apply Today!

Call us at (323) 803-5039 or email